1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Help, I need more punch and presence from my P

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bob atherton, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. bob atherton

    bob atherton

    Mar 8, 2005
    About four years back I bought a MIJ 62RI P bass, mainly because it played and felt better than any other P that I have tried in my 56 years; it really did feel that right for me.

    How it sounds is another story….

    I swapped out the pick ups for some Fender Vintage 62’s (if that is what they are called). This kind of improved things in some areas but also lost some of the presence, and it didn’t have too much to start with. It sounds too ill-defined on the fundamentals and is easily getting lost in the band mix.

    I have gigged a bit with this bass for mostly quite jazz or blues sets. It also records very well. I would like to get this bass out of the case more often and the only way that this will happen is if I can get more punch from it and more cut through in the band mix.

    I really don’t get on with active basses at all so I am looking for some passive pick-ups that will put more punch, presence and bite into the sound.

    Any recommendations and any sound clips would be massively welcome.

    Thanks, Bob
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    If it "records very well", then you might want to leave it alone, and use an outboard preamp when gigging. Something like the Aguilar Tone Hammer, for instance.
  3. bob atherton

    bob atherton

    Mar 8, 2005
    That's a good idea, thanks. :)
  4. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    Bob, if I were you I would try the following two pickups:

    1) Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder
    2) Dimarzio Will Power
  5. My thought as well. There are many options for a preamp pedal, EQ pedal or other tone shaping pedal such as the Sans Amp Bass Driver or the MXR M-80.
  6. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    Quick q, do you gig with the volume all the way up? Turning down the volume tends to bleed off the highs.
  7. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    maybe try a newer bass with the custom shop 60s pickups just to see if that's a more preferable sound for you
  8. Boot Soul

    Boot Soul

    Feb 10, 2009
    try Flomax

    but seriously try Bill Lawrence pickups
  9. Peredur


    Jul 7, 2002
    When you record do you DI from your amp or use a different DI or something? Perhaps your amp input is not giving the bass the front end it wants? Perhaps a buffering device (fdeck works well for me) would open things up?
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Check out the DiMarzio Model P
  11. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    Or a Basslines Hot P ?
  12. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    My experience with p basses going back over 30 years is that they don't sound very clear or present to you as the player. Get out front of house or on the other side of the stage, it sits beautifully in the mix, just like you hoped to hear it when you are playing it.

    Record the band live, you will know more about your sound than you can tell from behind your bass standing in front of your amp. What sounds middy and dull to you, sounds fat and warm in the mix.

    I don' believe the pickups are the issue, its the nature of the sound of a pbass.
  13. tubehead2


    Jan 26, 2013
    Seymour Duncan Antiquity for vintage tone or Aero type 1 for modern P bass tone.
    I have tried both of them, they are best sounding pickup in their way.
  14. What strings are you using? That choice can make a huge difference.
  15. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    +1, my experience as well.
  16. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I understand some players might have this reaction to the inherent nature of P-basses, but IMO some stock Fender pickups have indistinct lows and a soft attack, and thus don't punch through that well. My 2004 Am. Series was like this. I highly recommend a Lindy Fralin pickup to preserve a vintage character, yet punch through with a strong, gritty presence.
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    love my fralin P, but the fender '62 is a nice vintage-style pickup.

    -1 to duncan hots or dimarzio will powers or whatever, they will be louder but even muddier.

    try swapping the pots for 500ks to get more output and presence out of the 62s. you'll want a linear volume and an audio tone for even response from both controls.

    if it's too bright, just kick the tone knob down to 6 or 7 to get back into vintage territory. a little compression and even a bit of grind works great with 500ks and vintage pickups.
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Before we can go too far down this road, three questions simply must be answered.

    1) What strings?
    2) What amp do you use live? Speakers? PA support or no?
    3) Is the tone knob wide open on your bass?

    Without this information, it's really impossible to know what the problem could be or how/if pickups will get you where you want to go.

    Thank you.
  19. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Also, a quick look at the setup can reveal reasons for a softer sound and attack. If the pickup is too low in relation to the strings, that causes one tone problem for some and not others. If the strings are too close to the pickup that can cause a problem vice versa. A lot of variables in an electric bass guitar.
  20. bob atherton

    bob atherton

    Mar 8, 2005
    Wow, thanks for all the speedy replies guys!

    The first thing that I have done is to order an Aguilar Tone Hammer. I own 4 basses and to be honest only one of the four gives me exactly the tone I am after. The TH, I hope , with its mid sweep will get me into areas that I have not been able to reach before (sounds a bit like Startrek!)

    Mt rig is bass into Tech 21 Leeds pedal into Markbass LM3, into two TC Electronic 2x10 cabs.

    I will fiddle with the TH and see what that does before looking at the pups again. I will report back here is a couple of weeks.

    Thanks again.